Football-Haters' Guide to Phoenix Super Bowl

It's been a lifelong dream and confrontation point in your otherwise happy marriage. You missed previous years' games because your beloved would rather "drop dead" than fly to Detroit and you couldn't find a five-star hotel in Jacksonville to save your life.

But lo, here comes Super Bowl XLII in Phoenix, America's fifth-largest city, which doubles as a getaway destination laden with top-notch resorts, trendy restaurants and prime nightlife to quiet the qualms of even the most avid of football-haters. With the promise of deluxe spa treatments and nonstop first-class airline service, you and yours pack up the Louis luggage and head to the desert.

The Stadium
Photo: University of Phoenix Stadium

Lodge Like a Footballer's Wife

After arriving at the airport, hit the car-rental place, where a 2008 Corvette Convertible is awaiting your arrival. You'll wind your way through the back roads of Phoenix and quickly discover that the best parts of the city, including your hotel, are located on the outskirts. Check into the new Mondrian Scottsdale , a mixture of hip boutique hotel and posh luxury resort. The hotel features an outpost of SkyBar and Asia de Cuba as well as the most chic Super Bowl pool crowd in town.

Mondrian Scottsdale Hotel
Photo: Mondrian Scottsdale

For more of a party atmosphere, the Hotel Valley Ho is a retro-themed party sanctuary popular with Phoenix's under-40 social scene. The main pool area will be ablaze with all-day soirées and sun tanning during the big weekend, but be sure to book one of the poolside suites for easiest access to the waterfront loungers. Rooms are whimsically decorated in bright desert colors, minimalist furnishings and even the occasional freestanding bathtub.

For those traveling with young ones, child or date, hit up the Royal Palms Hotel or Phoenician also located in Scottsdale. The Phoenician offers a more traditional luxury resort with sprawling golf course and meticulous pool area surrounded by furnished cabanas and sexy spritzing staff. The Royal Palms Hotel is a bit more boutique, with a selection of freestanding casitas decorated in cozy Southwestern style offering lavish bathrooms with outdoor showers and lounge area.

Super Bowl Super Meals

If you aim for the best, try to secure a Friday or Saturday night reservation at Mastro's Ocean Club . For those unfamiliar with the chain or its celebrated outpost in Beverly Hills, the Scottsdale incarnation is a bit more extravagant, with rod-iron chandeliers. The water-inspired bar scene is a hotbed of sport stars like Shaquille O'Neill and Terrell Owens.

Foodies should seek immediate sanctuary with 2007 James Beard Award-winning Chef Nobuo Fukuda and his flagship Sea Saw . Fukuda creates a quirky Japanese-style tapas menu accompanied by the traditional sushi bar in a buzzing atmosphere of lounge beats and social mixing.

While most gourmands shun the idea of dining inside a hotel, some of the area's best restaurants are in fact located on the resort grounds. Prior to the Mondrian Scottsdale, Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain was the hottest hotel in town. Its Element Restaurant continues to pack in the locals looking for its awe-inspiring views of the surrounding mountains and menu of fresh American cuisine with Asian accents.

Fresh for 2008, with rumors of opening for a star-studded preview during Super Bowl weekend, is Michael Mina and his latest outpost of Bourbon Steak located at the newly renovated Scottsdale Princess .

Parties, Parties Everywhere

Start your merriment at 944 Super Village , beginning Jan. 30 and sponsored by local 944 Magazine. Located on the Scottsdale Waterfront at Stetson Canal, the five-day event is a family-friendly celebration of food and football meet-and-greets during the day with live musical performances, fashion shows and fireworks by night.

On Jan. 31 and Feb. 1, Mary J Blige and Maroon 5 will perform at the Pepsi Smash Super Bowl Bash. The musical duo will be accompanied by Latin pop stars RBD and celebrity hosts, and there will be guest appearances by some of the NFL's biggest names.

Also on Jan. 31, Scottsdale's Axis-Radius is hosting P. Diddy. The two blocks surrounding the club will be closed-off to allow for a decadent street-fair environment.

While the annual parties by Playboy and Marquis Jets are by invitation only, Miami's Prive Nightclub and Opium Group present The Best Damn Super Bowl Party Period , with tickets starting at $300. Located at rotating venues including a 20,000 square-foot private mansion, the three-night event includes performances by Ludacris and Chris Rock, with celebrity guests including Paris Hilton, Alex Rodriguez and Jason Giambi.

Do Your Best Touchdown Dance

Globetrotting partiers will be making their way to the area's hottest club for an all-night dance spectacular. If starting off before 9 p.m., head-over to the Dirty Pretty Rockbar . An eclectic hotspot of dressed-up rockers and society girls attracts celebrities like Travis Barker and DJ R.

On Feb. 1 and 2, Axis-Radius is hosting the Bud Bowl with celebrity appearances by Kid Rock and Snoop Dogg. Look for hushed celebrity entrances to join loyal patrons like Steve Nash, Matt Leinart and Shawn Marion. Try to contact the club directly for VIP bottle service and easier entry.

Also on Feb. 2, E4 is hosting its own Super Bowl bash with hosts Tommy Lee and Dave Navarro. The night will feature catwalk performances by a local Scottsdale modeling agency and solo sets by Lee and Navarro. Plus, the sight of a certified '90s rock star may even score you enough brownie points with that reluctant spouse to attend next year's Super Bowl in Tampa, Fla.
Michael Martin is the managing editor of -- a luxury travel and lifestyle guide based in Los Angeles and London. His work has appeared in In Style, Blackbook, Elle, U.K.'s Red magazine, ITV and BBC.